Apart for the storms, the weather most of last week was (and this coming week will be) absolutely beautiful. Just perfect for getting outside and enjoying a day at the park, or walking through the neighborhood, or working out in the garden. You might think, what with the daytime temps comfortably in the 70s and the traditional farmers markets all opening up again that it’s the perfect time to put those tomato seedlings you picked up at market or the plant sale into the garden. It is prime gardening season, but keep your eye on those summer plants just a little bit longer! We’re going to have at least one freeze this week, and there will be more cold nights ahead. That’s enough to severely damage those summer veggies, most of which are tropical plants that can’t handle even the slightest bit of cold. For tomatoes and basil, I’d recommend holding off until the nights are reliably in the 50s for optimal growth. You can start them sooner and they’ll survive nights in the 40s, but it doesn’t do them any good at all and generally stunts them for the rest of the year.
I know when you see those gorgeous plants for sale the urge is strong to go home and put them right into the ground when the weather is nice. I have to fight that urge off every year, too, and I’ve had a garden going most every year of my life. Go ahead and buy them and get to know them, but keep them in the pots and bring them inside at night for just a little while longer. They’ll thank you later.
Ordinarily we’d have dozens or even hundreds of seedlings available here through ALG, but that was one of the casualties of having to go into pandemic mode. I still haven’t come up with a good way to have them come from the grower in a way where we can organize them by customer and have them ready to load into your trunks. We’ve gotten really good at everything else, but that’s still a mystery. I’ll be keeping an ear out for plant sales and other ways you can get locally grown seedlings, and I’ll pass them along to you as I find them.
Thank you so much for your support of Athens Locally Grown, all of our growers, local food, and our rights to eat it. You all are part of what makes Athens such a great area in which to live. We’ll see you at our market’s home on Tallassee Road!
We are still getting new customers every week (and we love seeing new masked faces!) so for all of you you can find a detailed run-down of how Thursdays go on our website here: https://athens.locallygrown.net/faq#7
Other Area Farmers Markets
If ALG doesn’t have everything you need, please support our growers at the other markets that are now back up and running, or at their own locations. The Comerian takes online orders for Saturday pickup at the bakery here: https://www.thecomerian.com/online-ordering. The Athens Farmers Market is holding their Saturday market once again in Bishop Park. They’re still operating under pandemic rules, so you’ll want to read up on all the changes on their website, http://athensfarmersmarket.net. The West Broad Farmers Market is back, holding a drive through market just like us (and using my software too, so it’ll be nice and familiar). You can join them at https://wbfm.locallygrown.net. The Culinary Kitchen of Athens has started a socially distanced winter market, Saturdays from 11am to 2pm at Hendershots on Prince. And of course Collective Harvest is going strong over at https://www.collectiveharvestathens.com.
All of these other markets are separate from ALG (including the Athens Farmers Market) but many growers sell at multiple markets. Please support your local farmers and food producers, where ever you’re able to do so!